Helen’s Fostering Blog
First Evening Together
The two children that arrived on that first day have changed so much in the last 14 months. So much so its hard to think of them as the same children.
When they first arrived on the surface both children appeared lively, friendly, inquisitive and even happy, until bedtime arrived of course.
It didn’t take long to see this was just a front and a lot of nervous energy. Over the time that they have been living with us, we have talked about that first few days and they themselves have admitted they were feeling frightened and very unsure about their new home and family.
At first Harry who was 8 years old at the time was constantly just telling us jokes, and dancing around. To us it was clear he just wanted us to like him. It was a surprise to me that before he had even been with us a few hours he was asking if he could live with us forever and be his forever family, I recall him saying I’m 110% happy here already.
Beth who was 9 at the time was so engaging, she had asked me to help unpack her belongings, so we both sat on her bedroom floor sorting through things when she came across her memory box from her previous carers.
She talked me through the memory book and told me who everyone was, also in this box were cards and other memories, some of which were from her previous carers, others that were from her family. I was a bit taken back when instead of putting them back in the box she placed all of these items into a plastic carrier bag and wanted to shove them at the back of her wardrobe out of sight.
I asked her if she didn’t want to keep them safe in the memory box and she simply replied, “nah that was then, this is now”. Later that evening like her brother Beth asked me if she could stay here with us forever.
When my husband returned back home after picking up my stepdaughter, the children were super excited about meeting Libby and they were keen to open the door singing happy birthday to her, I think Libby probably felt a little overwhelmed as they dived all over her like long lost friends being reunited.
Both Beth and Harry continued with their happy chatter throughout the evening until bedtime came around. Libby read them a bedtime story and pjs were put on, I don’t doubt they were exhausted but understandably bedtime was going to be difficult for them. Another new bed, bedroom, home with all its own unusual noises and smells and a new family to get their little minds around.
I remember Harry becoming very distressed and telling me he had a tummy ache all day. They must have been wondering how long this one would last and if we were indeed actually nice people.
I recall explaining to both children, that if they felt worried during the night, they could come and knock on my bedroom door and I will come out if they needed me.
I couldn’t think of anything worse than them sitting in the dark feeling scared and alone, besides as exhausted as I also felt I knew the chances of me sleeping well that night were slim.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer